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Welcome to the archives of the IEA OPEN Energy Technology Bulletin, a free newsletter from the International Energy Agency (IEA) and its Committee on Energy Research and Technology. The OPEN Bulletin provides regular updates on activities within the IEA's energy technology and R&D community that are contributing to energy security and protection of the environment and climate worldwide.


No. 10, 28 March 2003

1. Hydrogen in tomorrow's energy systems. Experts survey the prospects.

2. CO2 Sequestration: IEA Greenhouse Gas R&D Programme launches new website.

3. Energy Star: optimising benefits from an energy-efficiency programme.

4. Saving energy by storing it: IEA international collaborative R&D programme reviews progress.

5. Upcoming Events

6. Publications and websites:

South American Gas -- Getting Hybrid, Electric and Alternative Fuel Vehicles onto the Roads -- Demand Response in Liberalised Electricity Markets -- Bioprocesses, Bioproducts and the BioBased Economy -- Integrating Solar Heating and Cooling.


1. Hydrogen in tomorrow's energy systems. A much discussed potential option, to exist in parallel with electricity, hydrogen as an energy carrier could play a big role in future energy systems. In direct combustion, or as a feedstock for stationary or mobile fuel cells producing electricity and heat, hydrogen appears to have what it takes to bring us closer to economic, energy-security and climate goals. Not surprisingly, hydrogen technology is now attracting substantial research and development investment budgets around the world. But can we really expect to see a hydrogen economy starting to emerge in the near future? How could a transition of such vast magnitude be master-minded? What are the energy-policy, technology and infrastructure priorities for smoothing the way? To get insight on these questions, the IEA invited international experts to a seminar in Paris on 3 March 2003. To access the papers from this event:

Hydrogen was on the agenda when United States Secretary of Energy Spencer Abraham and IEA Executive Director Claude Mandil met on 6th March in Brussels. Press release:

See also the programme of the IEA Implementing Agreement on Hydrogen: It is among more than forty operating within the Agency's framework for international energy technology collaboration. See

CO2 Sequestration: IEA Greenhouse Gas R&D Programme launches new website. Capturing and storing CO2 from fossil fuels used during power generation or in industrial processes is becoming increasingly high-profile. For more than ten years now, the IEA Greenhouse Gas R&D Programme has been focussing on the potential of CO2 sequestration to achieve substantial reductions in emissions of this greenhouse gas. It has a well established website which answers basic questions about the technology. A new site has now been created that gives access to a searchable database of more than eighty practical research and demonstration projects around the world. Informed readers are invited to offer comments on this new website, at, or to submit additional material.
For the Programme's main web pages:

3. Energy Star: optimising benefits from an energy-efficiency programme.

By any standards, the achievements of the United States Energy Star programme constitute a major success story. Energy Star energy-efficiency labels can now be seen on the widest range of appliances, alongside its energy-efficiency ratings for buildings, homes and business premises. Partnerships with local institutions have made the Energy Star label a valued benchmark in markets around the globe. As with most success stories, however, Energy Star faces the challenge of sustaining performance and preserving momentum. Against a backdrop of transforming markets, how can the efficiency of Energy Star itself be further enhanced to cater for broader product scope and outreach? Bringing the perspective of long-standing involvement in the work of this and other similar programmes, Alan Meier of the IEA's Energy Efficiency Policy Analysis team analyses the challenge and suggests ways forward. To access his report, The Future of Energy Star and Other Voluntary Energy Efficiency Programmes:

4. Saving energy by storing it: IEA international collaborative R&D programme reviews progress.
From underground thermal storage to keeping lap-top computers cool, the IEA's Implementing Agreement on Energy Conservation through Energy Storage addresses diverse ways of making better use of fluctuating energy sources. Its projects demonstrate how exchanging knowledge between countries can speed acceptance of new technologies and market introduction. In less than seven years, for example, six cold and heat storage plants have been realized in Belgium, and more are now under construction. Meanwhile, equipment and procedures have been developed for Thermal Response Testing (TRT), a tool for design of underground borehole heat exchangers now popular for designing large-scale plants in at least ten countries. A lap-top cooler has been created that reduces energy consumption by 25%. And, based on technical work under the programme's international collaboration, Canada has adopted a national standard that is expected to encourage use of underground thermal energy storage for earth energy systems. For more, see the Progamme's website: Contact:

5. Upcoming Events
  • Please note that the following event will now take place in Paris and not Moscow.
    IEA Conference Linking Basic Science and the Development of New Energy Technologies, Paris, 1-2 April 2003. Hosted by the IEA, this event will focus on the relationship between basic science and the development of clean energy technologies. It will explore how energy technology research programmes can better reflect progress in basic science in the pursuit of a sustainable energy future. See announcement:
    Invitations to this invitation-only event can be requested by e-mailing:, or

  • Thermal Energy Storage Workshop, Lleida (Spain), 10 April, 2003. Organised by the Annex "Cooling in All Climates with Thermal Energy Storage" of IEA's Energy Storage Implementing Agreement, this 6th workshop in the series will focus on Mediterranean countries, design, modelling and implementation issues. The IEA programme organises workshops in parallel with Experts' Meetings. Last October's 5th workshop in the United States attracted 70 American attendees. For more information and registration: (Click on News, then Upcoming Events). Contact: Bekir Turgut -

  • Biomass Co-Firing Workshop, Jacksonville, Florida (USA), 17 May 2003. Submission of papers is invited for this workshop, organised by the IEA Fluidized Bed Conversion (FBC) Implementing Agreement in conjunction with its 46th meeting. Both events coincide with the May 18-21 International Conference on Fluidized Bed Combustion sponsored by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and Council of Industrial Boiler Owners.

  • The Hydrogen Economy: Challenges and Strategies for Australia, Including the Tidal Energy Link - international conference, Broome, Western Australia, 18-21 May 2003. Organised with advisory support from the IEA's Implementing Agreement on Hydrogen, this international event is for decision-takers with a strategic interest in the role of hydrogen as a long-term future energy source. Speakers will include major contributors, from different countries, to advances in hydrogen use for energy, as well as Australian Government Ministers. For conference website and registration details:

  • Energy Technologies for post-Kyoto Targets in the Medium Term, Risø International Energy Conference, Risø (Denmark), 19-21 May 2003. Co-sponsored by the IEA, this conference will review new developments and trends in energy technologies that could become main elements in the energy portfolio over the next fifteen to twenty years. Both R&D and system-integration issues are on the agenda.

  • Photovoltaic Power Systems in the Past, Present and Future - IEA PVPS International Conference 2003 - 10th Anniversary of PVPS - Osaka (Japan), 19-20 May 2003. As well as reviewing the IEA PVPS programme's achievements over the past ten years, this event will focus on the programme's future missions, the role of policy measures in relation to photovoltaics around the world, also some visions of the future for PV industries. For the conference announcement and access to the PVPS website: For direct access to the Conference pages:

  • Towards Sustainable Transportation - 20th Anniversary Windsor Workshop - Toronto, Ontario (Canada), 2-5 June 2003. Co-sponsored by the IEA, this event will enable international experts from the public and private sectors to compare experience, share information and consider future developments in all aspects of transport: research, policy, fuel supply and vehicle manufacturing. Conference website:

  • Saving Electricity in a Hurry - IEA Workshop, Paris (France), 19-20 June 2003. What are the best strategies for dealing effectively with temporary shortfalls in electricity supply? Each electricity crisis has unique features, but the lessons learned can benefit others. This international workshop will enable specialists to share recent practical experience in addressing the need for fast reductions in power demand. To learn more and register:

  • Coal - Contributing to Sustainable World Development - 12th International Conference on Coal Science, Cairns, Queensland (Australia), 2- 6 November, 2003. Organised jointly by the IEA, the IEA Clean Coal Centre and the hosts, the Australian Institute of Energy, this event will offer a broad technical program of plenary lectures and oral and poster presentations on advances in coal science. Also on the agenda are tours of major export, mining, and research facilities in Queensland and Southern Australia. For more information:

6. Publications & websites
  • South American Gas - Daring to Tap the Bounty. This IEA study reviews current trends in South American's gas sector and identifies the challenges ahead if the region is to take full advantage of its gas resources. To learn more and order:

  • Deployment Strategies for Hybrid, Electric and Alternative Fuel Vehicles. The fruit of three years of work by a joint task force from the IEA's collaborative programmes on hybrid and electric vehicles and on advanced motor fuels, this report makes recommendations to inform policy-making. Its findings are based on analysis of more than 100 deployment programmes in 18 countries. To access the flyer for this free publication and order:
    Website of IEA Hybrid and Electric Vehicle Implementing Agreement:
    Website of IEA Advanced Motor Fuels Implementing Agreement:

  • Proceedings of the IEA Workshop Demand Response in Liberalised Electricity Markets, Paris, 24-25 February 2003. This workshop focused on how market forces, policy and technology can work together to ensure that power consumers have the means to use electricity efficiently. To access the proceedings:

  • Proceedings of Joint IEA/OECD Workshop Promoting International Collaboration on Bioprocesses, Bioproducts and the BioBased Economy (BBE) - Ottawa (Canada), March 3-6, 2003. See website for workshop speakers' views on the role of international collaboration in relation to bioprocesses and bioproducts, today and tomorrow.

  • Solar Heating and Cooling: Tools for Using An Integrated Design Process. The IEA Solar Heating and Cooling Programme's Task 23, "Optimisation of Solar Energy Use in Large Buildings" recently completed its work on exploring the nature of the Integrated Design Process (IDP). This approach and design procedure has proved to be most effective in producing high-performance and environmentally-friendly buildings. A set of tools has been developed and can be downloaded, along with other related material, from the Programme's website at Contact: Pamela Murphy -